MADISON, Wis. -

State Assemblyman Mark Pocan has won the U.S. House race for Wisconsin's 2nd District, keeping the Madison-area seat with Democrats.

The seat was held by Tammy Baldwin for seven terms, but she gave it up to run for the U.S. Senate.

Pocan defeated Republican challenger Chad Lee on Tuesday. But the election outcome wasn't all that surprising because the district, which covers Madison and its surrounding areas, is reliably Democratic.

Like Baldwin, Pocan is openly gay and has championed greater rights for gays and women. 

"And I will work hard every day and make sure the American pledge with liberty and justice for all means just that for everyone regardless of your gender, economic status, race, religious or non-religious status or sexual orientation. I will fight for equality every single day," Pocan said.

Pocan said he will also fight to protect Medicare and Social Security.

"We must protect Medicare and Social Security, and I'll fight with every breath to block efforts that privatize or vulture-ize those programs that millions of Americans rely on," Pocan said.

Pocan has also served as a co-chairman of the Assembly's Joint Finance Committee, which he credits for giving him valuable experience in writing budgets.

Baldwin had held the seat since 1998.